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Anxiety Treatment for Adults

Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent psychological disorder in the United States. Every year 19% of the population suffers from a diagnosable anxiety disorder and 31% of the population will experience an anxiety disorder at some point in their life. Close to one half of people with an anxiety disorder also have a depressive disorder. The good news is that anxiety disorders (and depressive disorders) are highly treatable. In fact, anxiety disorders may have the best prognosis of any psychological disorder.

The word anxiety refers to mild nervousness and worry to excessive rumination, catastrophic thinking and panic. Some anxiety, worry and nervousness is normal and healthy but can be considered problematic when it begins to interfere with or impair your work or personal life.

Anxiety problems are characterized by changes in thinking, mood, behavior and physical functioning. The following diagram illustrates this.

Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) is an active, directive focused form of treatment that enables people to identify and change the thoughts (cognitions) and behaviors (avoidance, perfectionism, safety seeking) that are contributing to and maintaining their anxiety symptoms. There are multiple strategies for identifying and altering your unique thoughts and behaviors but Cognitive Behavior Therapy for anxiety often involves:

  • learning anxiety management strategies
  • developing a greater ability to tolerate symptoms associated with anxiety
  • acquiring the skills to identify and alter catastrophic thinking
  • gaining greater confidence in your ability to cope
  • understanding how to overcome avoidance behavior and approach what you are fearful of.

More information is available on specific anxiety disorders by clicking on any of the following tabs: